Archive for Thursday, January 7, 1999


January 7, 1999


Lawrence painter-printmaker Judi Geer Kellas has two pieces in the ICARUS exhibit at Glenn Eure's Ghost Fleet Gallery and the Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, N.C.

Each year through 2003 -- the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright brothers -- ICARUS will hold a celebratory event in different disciplines of the arts, including performance, literary efforts and dance.

This year's national competition, with the theme "Lighter than Air," is comprised of two- and three-dimensional visual artwork, including Kellas' "Follow Your Dream," a limited-edition serigraph of Amelia Earhart, and "Under Her Wings We Soar," a larger painting in acrylic on paper. The latter is Kellas' tribute to women of courage and inspiration who have influenced her life.

All of the artworks in the exhibit are for sale. ICARUS keeps a 35 percent commission to benefit the Wright Brothers Museum and National Park.

ICARUS describes itself as "a program to celebrate the beauties and mysteries of flight through the arts." The exhibit's jurors are Barclay Sheaks, a Virginia tidewater artist, and Denise Dickens, director of the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, N.C.

From Jan. 17 through Feb. 12, Maria Velasco, an assistant professor of art at Kansas University, will be the featured artist at the Art + Music Center Gallery at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Velasco's exhibit, "no body's land/tierra de nadie," is an installation that originated from Velasco's residency in Paraguay last summer.

The piece features a long table covered in bridal satin, topped with plates featuring silk-screened images of female body parts. The table is bisected by a wall in the shape of the letter/word "I," which is covered with gathered human hair.

Velasco says the installation was created as "a metaphor for the encounter with the `other,' which is represented by the hair. The hair is fascinating on the one hand and repulsive on the other."

Velasco, a native of Spain, found inspiration for the piece through legends and myths about the clash between Spaniards and the indigenous people of Paraguay.

An opening reception will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 17. The next viewing of "tierra de nadie" will be at the Salina Art Center in a group invitational exhibit with the theme "The Body." That exhibit opens Feb. 20.

Sculptor John Hachmeister, another KU assistant professor of art, is participating in a group show from Jan. 15 through Feb. 27 at the Dolphin Gallery, 1901 Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo.

Hachmeister joins sculptors James Holmes, formerly of Lawrence and now residing in New Mexico, and Jerry Monteith, of Illinois, in the middle gallery.

The main gallery will feature "The Imaginary Biographies of Johnny Naugahyde," an exhibit of mixed-media collages exploring Naugahyde's interests in human relations, politics and history.

Of the sculptors, Dolphin Gallery director Emily Eddins says, "The works of all three are very finely crafted."

Monteith's work in wood and found objects has a "tool-like quality." The objects are available individually, but will be displayed in groupings as two wall installations. Using common objects like telephones and lamps, Holmes creates "embellished" sculptures. Hachmeister's pieces retain "beautiful surfaces and allude to nature and simple organic forms," whether executed in bronze, ceramic, wood or other materials.

This exhibit promises to be exciting and provocative. Attending would be a great way to kick off the 1999 art season.

An opening reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 15. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Showing at The Jazzhaus, 926 1/2 Mass., is a two-person show, "Semme Forms and Father Figures," which features the figurative works of John Haller and Tanya McNeely.

Haller's chosen medium is drawing, done primarily in pencil, charcoal and conte on paper. McNeely sculpts the female form in painted plaster body casts.

This is the first collaborative exhibit by the father-daughter pair, and there is talk about further "familial" group shows, perhaps including Haller's other daughter, Michelle Babcock, who like her father and sister, holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from KU. The music for the show could be provided by McNeely's husband, Rick, who just released a new CD.

The Jazzhaus was one of the first nontraditional exhibit spaces for visual arts in Lawrence. Although the club's lighting is not as fine-tuned as a gallery's might be, The Jazzhaus has shown the work of some remarkable visual artists over the years, including Julie Green, Selan Hall and Typewriter Man.

You can see "Semme Forms and Father Figures" from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily through Jan. 23.

Karen Jacks will be exhibiting several newly completed wall assemblages in a group show at Tom Fooleries, 612 W. 47th, Kansas City, Mo. The exhibit, organized by Melanie Mikel of "Art Connections," will show from Jan. 15 to Feb. 18.

For more information, call (816) 753-0555.

The next Gallery Talk column will be in the Feb. 4 issue of The Mag (I am taking a few days off). In the meantime, look around you -- there is fine art everywhere in Douglas County.

-- Diana Dunkley is a part-time reporter for the Journal-World and a professional artist working out of her Lawrence studio.

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